The Finnish Ice Hockey team, affectionately known as the Lions, are one of the best Ice Hockey teams in the world, and have a growing army of supporters eagerly watching their games both in Finland, and travelling with them for competition games abroad. Along with the Czech Republic, Sweden, Russia, Canada, and the USA, Finland forms part of what is known as 'the big six', the strongest Ice Hockey playing nations in the world. Finland regularly competes in both European and worldwide competitions, including the World Championships, the European Championships, and the Olympics. It was the 1995 World Ice Hockey Championships that brought Finland their first ever gold medal, which they achieved with a 4-1 victory over Sweden, since that time they have grown to be the world class team that they are today.
Finland goes international
The first Finnish Ice Hockey game was played in Helsinki in 1899, but it wasn't until thirty years later, in 1929 that the Finnish Ice Hockey Association was founded with 17 clubs coming together to take part in the first championship which was eventually won by HJK Helsinki. The game rapidly spread across the country as it gained in popularity, and built an army of fans keen to enjoy the excitement of fast moving live action on the ice. By 1933 Finland was ready to play its first international game abroad, taking on neighbouring Sweden for the occasion. In 1939 Finland entered a team for the Ice Hockey World Championships in Basel, and it became possible to buy Finland ice hockey tickets for a major competition. These initial forays into international competition were not entirely successful, and it took until 1948 for the young team to achieve their first World Championship win.
Team Finland advances to success
Since those early days the Finland Ice Hockey team has continued to grow in stature and is today regarded as one of the top two teams in the IIHF World Rankings, with fans eager to purchase Finland ice hockey tickets to see their team in action. Their first gold medal came in 1995. In 1997 Team Finland won the four nations Euro Hockey tour, in the same year the Finnish Under-18 Team won the European Championship for an incredible fourth time. The second World Championship win for the national team came in 2011, but not before they won the Euro Hockey Tournament for a sixth time in 2004. Ice hockey is a fantastic, fast moving spectator sport and as thousands of Team Finland fans will testify, buying tickets is the best way to get close to the action and experience the thrill of a live ice hockey game.